Book Review

It’s Not Us Against Them

Creating the Schools We Need

by Raymond J. McNulty, International Center for Leadership in Education, Rexford, N.Y., 208 pp., $29 softcover


The 208 pages of It’s Not Us Against Them: Creating the Schools We Need by Raymond J. McNulty are a rather meandering, disjointed narration of personal experiences and observations of various school district administrators.

It's Not Us Against Them

The author clearly has had a distinguished career as teacher, principal and superintendent, but his book fails to live up to his rich experience.

With the 1½ pages devoted to making gravy from his mother’s recipe, the author uses too much ink and fails to make anything close to an earth-shaking point. The same can be said for the work’s numerous efforts to use everyday events in school administration to make points; unfortunately, these points fail to inspire. Any administrator with a few years of experience can relate such stories. Telling one or two can be of interest in a social setting, but they get fairly thin here.

I do see one redeeming value to McNulty’s book. At the end of each chapter, he provides a useful summary, titled “In A Nutshell.” In a break from the book’s style, these pages feature sharp, concise statements that contain cogent insights and stimulating concepts.

The aspiring or new school administrator might find this book worth reading. But such readers should not set their aspirations for the book too high.

Reviewed by Darroll Hargraves, consultant, School and Community Resources, Wasilla, Alaska